San Antonio – playgrounds, mirror mazes and, oh yeah, The Alamo

The first two days of our trip included fourteen hours in the car, four state border crossings, one dinner in Biloxi, twenty-five state license plates spotted, an overnight in Slidell (LA), and three viewings of Michael Jordan’s Space Jams movie (L&N have a bit of an obsession with Wil E. Coyote and the Roadrunner).  At long last, we arrived at the KOA campground (actually, I think it is technically called a “Kampground”) in San Antonio.  We reserved a 2-room Kamping Kabin which was sans toilette, so we were definitely kind of roughing it (particularly with the pre-sunrise run to the bathroom each morning).

our Kamping Kabin

bright lights of the bathrooms in the wee hours of the morning
We decided to stay at the KOA Kampground because it had a pool and a playground, and it was really the right move. The boys LOVED playing at the playground, and were so excited about all the friends they met.

We arrived on Friday night, and the weather was so hot and humid, it was kind of miserable! C and I were wondering how we would be able to do ANYTHING outside in that weather.  yuck!  But luck was really with us, and Saturday morning, we were greeted with wind and overcast skies from an imminent storm.  We decided to risk the weather and headed into downtown San Antonio to an awesome playground at Hemisfair Park, built on the site of the 1968 World’s Fair.  We were the only ones there and enjoyed all the awesome climbing structures, table tennis table and chess and checker boards.

After an hour or so at the park, the storm still hadn’t come, so we decided to risk the just-under-a-mile walk to The Alamo.  We had already been warned that The Alamo was a bit underwhelming, and it was.  It was a nice old building, but there wasn’t too much to see and it was really crowded.  By far the highlight of our visit to The Alamo was the flash mob of baby-wearing moms dancing out front!

okay, so The Alamo wasn’t that bad!

baby wearing flash mob (behind tourists)

After The Alamo, we let A pick an activity from the variety of expensive tourist attractions across the street, and we somewhat reluctantly laid out $81 for the family to go through The Amazing Mirror Maze.  It actually ended up being pretty fun – we had to navigate our way through a maze (actually 3 of them) of mirrors.  We were not very good at it, but we eventually found our way out!  The best part was when N would get excited thinking he found the right path, and run ahead shouting “I found it!”, which was almost immediately followed by a thud as he crashed into a mirror.  But he was okay, so it is okay to laugh about it, right?

N being more cautious after running into the mirrors a few times

Which one is the real A?
We took a stroll through Riverwalk in some drizzle before leaving downtown.  The boys were excited to see lots of ducks in the water (and a few ducklings).


After our day downtown, we headed back to the Kampground for playground time, and dinner and s’mores over the campfire in front of our Kabin.

The next morning, we headed to The San Antonio Missions, specifically Mission San Jose. The San Antonio Missions were built in the 1700’s by Catholic Missionaries (more like agents of the King than the kind of missionaries we think about today – though they were still all-in on religion), who were attempting to turn the Native Americas in the area into Spanish citizens. We picked up Junior Ranger booklets for the boys to complete, watched a sort of ho-hum movie, then attended an excellent Ranger talk about the site.  The ranger, Tatum, gave what was the best NPS tour we have ever had. She made the tour really interesting, and in addition, she was totally bad*ss when she spotted some people who had CLIMBED UP THE WALL of the 300-year old building.

The amazing Ranger Tatum
We learned a ton about the history of the Missions on the tour and finishing the Junior Ranger books, and would highly recommend a tour with Ranger Tatum (just follow the park rules 😉 )


Amazing Ranger Tatum swears the boys in as Junior Rangers

After visiting the Mission, we headed for the children’s museum, called the DoSeum, and the kids had fun for a few hours. Their favorite’s were the awesome Spy Academy exhibit, a kid’s mini-town, a cool outdoor play area, and (an easy win) legos!

Spy Academy challenge

N being the Air Traffic Controller
It was a fun few days in San Antonio, and now we will continue west.  New Mexico – here we come!


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